A Travellerspoint blog

November 2011

Raining Cats and Dogs in Riyadh

First downpour of winter - chaos ensues

storm 14 °C

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Well today we had the first downpour of winter. In the same way a couple of inches of snow brings chaos to the UK so does a couple of inches of water in Riyadh. Water gathers everywhere due to not many drains and also sand blocking them. A lot of places had a good couple of inches deep water to contend with and the underpasses get very dangerous as they fill with water. Not too much lightening today but when you do see it it is very impressive. The roads are slick and oily and a layer of water makes them fun, for once the Saudis were ultra-cautious on the road.

That said many of the Saudis in the office were very happy in the same way we Brits are when it snows. They will be all out having picnics in the coming days as things green up a little. Oh and everyone was happy to be sent home at 2:00!

Posted by Gavin Lee 21:04 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged riyadh Comments (0)

The Saudi Driving Test...

sunny 35 °C

As some of you know driving in some parts of the world is, how shall we say, challenging! Well Saudi is no different, not too many rules adhered to, freestyle type driving. So what better way to help me cope as an Expat than the Saudi Arabian driving test.

I have 15 years of relatively safe driving behind me on the UK roads, but in order to drive the company pool car I needed to take the test.
Cue a visit to the Dallah Driving School in Riyadh. After photos, blood type, a letter from the company, a medical report it was down town with a broker. 30 minutes of hanging around and 2 windows that stamped documents it was off to the test room.

So we were sat there with my friend Darren looking out the single door at the really beat up Toyota Cressida, off it sets with a Student. 30 seconds later "That's the same car" " Can't be" "It is I'm sure". So we get to the front of the queue - and here's the test....


Click on the Satellite Option on map above.

We were in the crescent shaped building in the middle - the car was outside. The examiner just told me to drive - "Where?" "Round the roundabout" And that was the test - round the artificial roundabout, 20 seconds later just come to a stop where you started.

30 mins and 2 windows later I had my driving licence :-)

Posted by Gavin Lee 20:06 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged saudi_arabia Comments (0)

Horse Racing

Winning big in Riyadh

sunny 27 °C

Winning Big in Riyadh

I was very kindly invited to the Corona Ladies Charity event at King Abdulaziz Race Track NE of Riyadh courtesy of the Jadawel compound managers Barry and Bernie.

http://www.frusiya.com/english/home_en2.asp

A marvellous place with not much expense spared, we had a sponsors box high up in the stand next to the Royal Box. Races started at 3:15 in a nice 30Deg of sun finishing at 6:30 in the dark. We were treated to 8 races. We were also treated to a great food buffet - sadly the hopes that a 'Corona' event would yield a bucket of ice-cold Coronas were not to be!

Gambling is not allowed in Saudi Arabia. However you can 'bet' on the races - effectively you buy tickets 5SR (£1) each and put them in a hat/box of the horse that you like. Should that horse win then you are in the raffle with the other winning tickets, a ticket is drawn and then you win.

I managed to pick 4 winners in the 8 races and was lucky enough to win 400SR (£65) so a great result, Bernie also won too - see the last photo! :-)

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All in all a great day out.

Gavin

Posted by Gavin Lee 21:05 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged riyadh horse_racing Comments (0)

Khurais Shark Teeth

Looking for 25Million year old Shark Teeth Fossils in the middle of Saudi Arabia

sunny 33 °C

On the road in the trusty Galloper II

On the road in the trusty Galloper II

Camels

Camels

Hungry Camels

Hungry Camels

Hello

Hello

Hello!

Hello!

Feeding Time

Feeding Time

Feeding Time

Feeding Time

Shepherding Saudi style

Shepherding Saudi style

Stuck

Stuck

Stuck Again

Stuck Again

Oh Yes and now the teeth added - courtesy and copyright of Tom Hunnisett (Master Shark Tooth Finder compared to my 1 broken one)

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Posted by Gavin Lee 22:31 Archived in Saudi Arabia Tagged camels khurais Comments (0)

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